Mothers who did not breastfeed their children have significantly higher rates of type 2 diabetes later in life than moms who breastfed, report University of Pittsburgh, US, researchers in a study published in the American Journal of Medicine.
The study included 2,233 women between the ages of 40 and 78. Overall, 56% of mothers reported they had breastfed an infant for at least one month. 27% of mothers who did not breastfeed developed type 2 diabetes, and were almost twice as likely to develop the disease as women who had breastfed or never given birth. In contrast, mothers who breastfed all of their children were no more likely to develop diabetes than women who never gave birth. These long-term differences were notable even after considering age, race, physical activity and tobacco and alcohol use.